64 A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
of probing-rods, which have been run up them for about two hundred feet.
I turned back to the level corridor and walked to the point where it meets the Grand Gallery. And then, for a hundred and fifty feet, I slowly progressed to the top of this steep, corbel-sided ascent. A slight weakness, engendered by a three days' fast, began to trouble me as I climbed that incline. Finally, I rested for a few seconds on the three-feet-high step which marked the end and which was so placed as to be exactly in line with the vertical axis of the Pyramid. A few paces forward through the Antechamber, a forced stoop under the granite block which hangs down from grooved side-walls, and which bars the exit of this horizontal corridor, and I had reached the most important room in the Pyramid, the famous King's Chamber.
Here, too, the presence of a couple of air tubes, each about nine inches square, killed the tomb-chamber theory. Their openings into the room had never been sealed, as were those in the Queen's Chamber, but they had been completely filled with loose stones, which Colonel Vyse had to clear out when he wanted to determine the nature of these shafts. That this filling operation had been carried out at the same time as all the other attempts to conceal the internal arrangements of the overground portion of the Pyramid, was extremely probable.
I flashed the lamp over the bare walls and flat ceiling, noting anew the admirably accurate fitting of the immense polished granite blocks at their joints, and then began a slow circuit of the walls, carefully examining each individual stone. The rose-tinted rocks of far Syene had been split in twain to provide these blocks. Here and there treasure-seekers had scarred both floor and wall in their vain quests. On the eastern side of the floor, part of the stone flags had -disappeared and beaten earth had taken its place, while on the north-western side a deep rectangular hole remained unfilled. A long rough stone block which had once formed part of the floor and covered this hole, stood against the wall on one side, left there by early Arab hands, perchance. Parallel with it, and but a few inches away,